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DJ Negron-Forsythe: “This isn’t just a hobby for us.” Juan R. Govea

For Diogenes “DJ” Negron-Forsythe, his love for performing goes back to Lola’s Saloon.

The beloved, defunct venue was where the now 18-year-old sang Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” as part of a School of Rock show when he was 13.

Lola’s, he said, was where he “started to develop stage performance.”

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And DJ carries it through to this day with his positively intense thrash outfit Toxic Madness. Before the relatively recent release of their new EP Face to Face (which includes an insane cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”), the band put out a few singles and the seven-song album Live, Laugh, Love. DJ, along with bassist Aidan Reed and drummer Eddie Rubalcaba, are working on new material now (with a new guitarist) and plan to put out another EP or LP soon.

As with previous releases, the guys hope to hit the road afterward. This time, it’ll be the East Coast in July.

“This isn’t just a hobby for us,” DJ said. “This isn’t something like, ‘We’re gonna sing a few songs that we have no connection to, make a couple bucks, and leave.’ To us, this is a way of life and something we want to do until we die.”

Though they’ve been together only a couple of years, the Toxic Madness guys have already been seemingly everywhere. They’ve played Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, Rubber Gloves in Denton, and Three Links and Reno’s Chop Shop in Dallas, among other spots, and last month, the band rocked Tulips FTW. The guys have been able to tour so much with the financial support of family, friends, and merch sales.

“I like hardcore punk because it really speaks from the mind but also the heart and soul, like calling someone out with the truth,” Reed said. “We try and have fun and make it fun at shows.”

Like true punks, the guys say they don’t want to be perfect. They just want to be themselves.

DJ said, “Punk, for me, going a thousand miles an hour and going as heavy as possible is a healthy form of expression.”

Toxic Madness: “To us, this is a way of life and something we want to do until we die.”
Courtesy Toxic Madness

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